by March 20, 2012 0 comments



Snapshot

Applies to: IT Decision makers

USP: Understand the key features that would make it worth for businesses to upgrade to Windows 8
Primary Links: Windows 8 Developer Preview: http://ld2.in/3vr
Search engine keywords: Windows 8 Consumer Preview


Every time Microsoft announces an upgrade to Windows, speculations start rolling about whether organizations should move their existing Windows editions to it or not. So this time, Microsoft has started creating awareness about why organizations should upgrade to its upcoming Windows 8 OS much earlier than the company did with its previous editions. While we can’t say much about how the final finished edition of the OS will be like, one thing’s for sure that its compatibility with smartphones, tablets and laptops/desktops PC is definitely being considered as a great feature.

It will mean lesser burden on developers because they won’t have to develop separate apps for different devices. The benefits of this will also percolate down to the actual users of those apps as they will be able to use the same OS and apps across platforms.

Add to that the fact that MS has added quite a few features that would be relevant for organizations, and installing the new OS won’t require a hardware upgrade. So things definitely look very promising for the next release of Windows. Here are a few other key things that organizations can look forward to.

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Metro Interface

This is a much talked about feature of Windows 8. Optimized for touch screen and classic desktop interface could be an advantage for people on the move. Microsoft is also providing application development tools so that an organization can create its own application and integrate it into the Metro interface. This actually lets you see the real time information through the tiles in Metro interface and might stop your employees from downloading external applications for the same.

The Metro interface will also allow the OS to be personalized for touch and tablets. If you open any app in the Metro interface, it will open in full screen by default, without any minimize or maximize button. This provides the touch feature and keyboard-mouse interface, and might help in increasing productivity.


Windows To Go

This is something very interesting in Windows 8 for companies who are skeptical about giving full permission to temporary employees or employees working from home. In both cases, the major concern is security. Windows-To-Go lets anyone work on a Windows 8 image rather than the physical OS. Windows-To-Go provides the user with a custom image of Windows 8 along with the business application, data and settings in a USB drive. This Windows 8 image can be booted up from a Windows 7 system.

This way, employee can work on their own laptops and the organization does not have to worry about security. Another advantage of this feature for an organization is that it can save money by providing USB rather than laptop, to employees.


Direct Access

We have talked about Windows-To-Go where the user can run Windows 8 through an image also. It is one of the secure methods to let employees access business apps outside the premises. When it comes to getting connected to private network (VPN) then Windows 8 provides this Direct Access, which remote users can use to access the internal network.

Its integration with Active Directory Services eliminates the need of manual sign in by users in a virtual private network, as it establishes the connection at startup itself.





Virtualization

Windows 8 includes Hyper-V for desktop virtualization. This would help IT departments to implement a virtual desktop infrastructure in a cost effective manner. Cost effective in a way that it will let developers to develop, debug and test the applications on different virtual machines, with different configurations, on a single system. Another advantage of virtualization is support for high definition graphics and touch. Hyper-V is said to improve efficiency through virtual machines compatibility with Hyper-V on Windows Server 8.


Internet Explorer 10

In the past few years IE seemed to lost the battle to Chrome and Firefox but with new features IE10 might regain its lost glory. Apart from the desktop version, IE10 is fully optimized for touch devices. This would make easier for employees to navigate through websites and applications. This version of Internet Explorer supports IE9, IE8 and IE7. For developers, Microsoft has included support for HTML5, CSS3 and SVG, so that they can come up with more stable and powerful apps. For safety and security IE10 is made plugin free but if you need ActiveX controls then you can go for the desktop version of the IE. For IT admins Microsoft has provided extensive policies to manage the Internet Explorer.


SmartScreen ARS

This is an inbuilt feature of Windows 8 that actually prevents or informs the user about the malicious application he is downloading. This can actually prevents the employees from downloading malicious application which could compromise the security of the company. SmartScreen Application Reputation Service warns the users by comparing the application, to be downloaded, to the known reputation data. Safe apps got the green light while the malicious apps give the warning.


Mobile connectivity

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Windows 8 has the feature of mobile broadband connection, which will lets users connect to a 3G network. It also keeps a check on data usage.


SkyDrive

When you login you can use your Windows Live id to login. It actually helps you sync your settings, so that you can open your account in another system with the same user account. It also helps in restoring your settings after a system reset. You can create a local account also if you do not have a Microsoft account. Another advantage for SMEs or any enterprise is SkyDrive, which can be used as cloud storage. This can be made public or private depending upon the usage.

Since Windows 8 is also targeted at tablets, there are apps that are tablet specific, like PaintPlay and Ink Pad. If you are on the go, then you can use Near Me, which is an app that works on GPS and will let you know about different places around you like adventure, cultural, family time, etc.

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